Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana pie


I’ve been trying out a lot of pies lately. Nothing fancy or elaborate – just simple, quick and easy pies. Since this is the first time I’m meddling with pies I wanted to try simple first, understand them and then go to the more complex ones. My experience with the simpler ones has been absolutely great! Not only are they easy to make but they’re so tasty! The only catch – don’t look at the calories when you bite into them!

The recipe for this pie came from here. There are a few things I adapted based on what I had in my pantry.

  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
  • 1 OREO Pie Crust (6 oz.)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • Some chopped roasted almonds
  1. Whisk chocolate and 1/2 cup COOL WHIP until well blended. Spread onto bottom of crust; top with bananas.
  2. Beat dry pudding mix, milk and chocolate-hazelnut spread in medium bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in remaining COOL WHIP; spread over bananas.
  3. Refrigerate 3 hours.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rebatch soap

Here's another of my trysts with natural cosmetics. Soap making has always had it's draw for me but given all the equipment I would need to try it out, I was holding back. Then I read about re-batch soap and it seemed the perfect fit for me. It gives you a feel of making soap without all the equipment and if you like it, you could go for the real stuff!
I bought the luxury re-batch soap from Brambleberry. If you're in WA and happen to go to Bellingham then you can buy it from their brick and mortar store, OTION. I love browsing that store!
I've put together a step-by-step tutorial of what I did.
1. Setup a double boiler. You can read about how I setup mine here. Add the grated soap to the upper pan. Add 1 tbsp boiling water to 1 lb of rebatch soap. I found that without the water it was taking the soap forever to come together. Keep mixing in the double boiler till the grated soap forms a mashed potato consistency.
2. Take the soap off the double boiler and add your essential oils. I added around 1/2 a tsp of rosemary EO to one batch (DH wanted a lightly scented soap) and 1 tsp lavender EO to another batch. Each batch was 1 lb.
3. I put one batch in a loaf pan and another in a muffin pan. The loaf pan is lined with wax paper and the muffin pan has cupcake liners. The wax paper and the cupcake liners made it very easy to take out the soap once molded. I oressed the soap well in both the molds so  that there were no air pockets.
4. I let the soaps set for a day and then took them out from their molds. Here are the cupcake soaps.
5. The loaf pan soap came out as a big bar, which I then cut into smaller bars.
6. Since I added a tbsp of water, I'm letting the soaps dry a few extra days. The more it dries the longer it'll last. The room where it dries has such a wonderful aroma of lavender and rosemary! I wonder how good my bathroom will smell once I start using these!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013